Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for Covid-19

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tested positive for Coronavirus.

The 67-year-old said on Twitter that his symptoms were mild and that he was “optimistic” following the diagnosis. He is working in isolation and was absent from his daily news conference for the first time in his two years in office.

The president, who has rarely been seen wearing a mask has been criticized for his handling of Mexico’s pandemic and for not setting an example of prevention in public.

Mr Obrador spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin to acquire 24 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, though it has not yet been approved for use in the country.

Despite his age and high blood pressure, López Obrador has not received a vaccine, though Mexico has received batches of Pfizer-BioNTech doses. He has said that health workers would be the first to get them. Under the government plan, people over 60 will start being vaccinated in February.

López Obrador has maintained a busy travel schedule, taking commercial flights. He spent the weekend in San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon states, where he was photographed without a mask.

He has also resisted locking down the economy, noting the devastating effect it would have on so many Mexicans who live day to day.

The country topped 150,000 deaths, the fourth-highest level in the world on Monday. However, Mexico tests very few people, and government excess death estimates suggest the real death is closer to 195,000. The country has more than 1.7 million infections, which have pushed the health system close to saturation.